Make Sure You Pack These Items for Your Alaska Vacation
Packing for a trip to Alaska is unlike packing for most vacations. Regardless of the time of year, you need to prepare for cooler weather; even the summer temps top out around 70 degrees. For those of you trying to figure out how to pack for your trip to Alaska, here is a list that will help you.
What to Pack for Your Trip to Alaska
When figuring out how to pack for your trip to Alaska, think in terms of categories: Clothing and Equipment — and then break those down into further categories depending on what activities you’re doing.
Clothing to Pack for Alaska
Waterproof, Warm Jacket
A jacket like this is a must-have for your trip to Alaska. This is especially true if you are planning to do a glacier excursion, dog sledding activity or other Alaskan outdoor adventure.
For those Alaskan summer days when it is chilly, but not necessarily cold, a fleece jacket is perfect. It’s easy to carry along with you, but it is also enough to ward off a chill.
It rains a lot in Alaska (it is a temperate rainforest, after all), make sure you are prepared to stay dry. A lightweight rain coat is a great thing to have on hand during your trip to Alaska if it’s raining, but isn’t necessarily that cold. It also comes in handy for hiking if you can easily ball it up and stuff it in a daypack.
Again, you’ll likely get chilly, make sure you have a hoodie or two on hand to keep you warm when you’re indoors or enjoying dinner on a patio and don’t want to wear a bulky coat. Hoodies have the added benefit of a cover for your head you can quickly pull up to protect your ears from the elements.
Great for hiking, great for relaxing. Leggings are a must-have during your trip to Alaska. If you’re a leggings lover like I am and want to wear them in cooler weather, too, while outdoors, look for fleece-lined leggings or ones made with thick performance-friendly material (I usually look for these at REI, but you can find them at other sports and outdoor stores, too).
If you plan to hit the trail at all, make sure you have hiking pants in your gear. Also, as silly as they may look, those zip-off pants that turn into shorts are nice to have on if doing a longer hike since they can be pants in the morning and quickly turn into shorts in the afternoon when the weather gets warmer. And after all — this might be a once-in-alifetime trip to Alaska, so who cares if you’re wearing trendy clothes? Dress for the elements!
Not sure what I mean by zip-off pants? Exhibit A. 🙂
Hat, scarves, and gloves.
Even in the summer, if you plan to head on a glacier excursion or an early morning boat ride or hike, it is going to get cold! Protect your extremities and pack for your Alaska trip accordingly with the right winter accessories.
Again, it gets cold in Alaska! You don’t want your feet to get cold.
Waterproof Hiking Boots
Keeping your feet warm doesn’t stop at socks. Protect them during your outdoor adventuring with waterproof hiking boots.
If you plan to spend some time walking around town and doing other non-trail stuff, be sure to bring comfortable shoes.
Yes, we want you to be prepared for cooler weather, but you need to bring lightweight clothing along with you, too. If you are taking your trip during the summer, it very well may be warm on your outings, especially in late morning or the afternoon.
Additionally, you will want to spend some comfortable downtime in your hotel or on your Alaska cruise ship and you don’t need rain clothes and thick socks for that.
Tech Stuff and Gadgets
While you’re going to want to live in the moment while in Alaska and breathe in all those epic sights and crips mountain air, you’re also no doubt going to want to capture those memories! So make sure you pack accordingly when it comes to gadgets and camera and equipment. A trip to Alaska though, almost requires that you have a phone or a camera on hand to take photographs of the beautiful scenery. You will regret it if you don’t capture those pictures. Additionally, cell phones are always good to have on hand for safety. When packing your tech stuff and gadgets for your trip to Alaska, keep the following things in mind.
When it comes to cell service, you can expect Verizon to work well in Alaska. AT&T works in many of the towns and area, but is more on and off than Verizon. If you have any other carrier, you may want to consider buying a prepaid Verizon phone card for your trip. That being said, many of the remote locations throughout the state do not have any service at all.
When it comes to a camera, yes, you can use your cell phone for photos (many cell phones have amazing cameras and take professional quality photos). However, the views in Alaska are like nothing you have probably ever seen before, and you may want to bring an actual camera for the trip.
A good DSLR camera with two lenses will help you get the best photos. A telephoto lens will especially be handy to have for wildlife photos while a wide lens will be perfect for glaciers, mountains, and other landscape shots.
Don’t forget to bring your chargers along for your phone and camera, and it’s smart to bring an extra battery or two for your camera so you can switch it out while on the trail or in port and don’t have to worry about conserving battery power. Leave that camera on so it’s ready for a sudden moose or whale sighting!
If you are a big picture taker, also don’t forget to bring an extra memory card along with you to ensure you don’t run out of space.
Have you ever taken a trip to Alaska? What were your must-have items during your trip? What would you add to this list?